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The Ed Show

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Us 31, Michigan 24, Boehner 10, John Boehner 9, Washington 7, Snyder 6, Ted Strickland 5, Obama 5, Kent Conrad 4, Ohio 4, Lansing 3, John Garamendi 3, America 3, Sarah 3, Virginia 3, Goldman Sachs 2, Paul Ryan 2, Karen 2, Barack Obama 2, Volkswagen 2,
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  MSNBC    The Ed Show    News/Business.  (2012) New.  

    December 12, 2012
    5:00 - 6:00pm PST  

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often than the others, although not always, won the election. and the side that said things that were dead-wrong about the jeep factory heading to china and the nonsense of getting rid of the work requirement for welfare, and the pathetic claim that president obama spends his time out there in the world apologizing lost. it really did. and maybe, just maybe the reason that people telling the most truth won. and the people telling the most untruth lost is for that very reason. we were all of us paying attention, because it really mattered. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. john boehner is getting pressure from all sides, and looking for friends where he can find them. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> i'm pretty confident that republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage. >> democrats put the ball back in boehner's court, and they're turning the screws on the speaker. >> it's tough.
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but you have to do it. so is the point that you don't want to put your members on the spot, figure it out. >> democrats, business leaders, republicans, even santa claus are pressing boehner to do a deal. california congressman john garamendi is here with the latest. the michigan sneak attack proves it again. union busting is all about politics. >> if a half a million people leave the labor movement every year, pretty soon you start having crimp in the political budgets of these unions, it has a direct effect on the presidential. >> and former ohio governor ted strickland on the politics of michigan and what it means forrest of the country. plus, major news from the fed that will boost the economy and help your pocketbook. we'll explain how. the latest on the attorney general's announcement about protecting voting rights. and senator kent conrad, chairman of the budget committee, gives his farewell address to the senate.
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tonight i'll ask him if the broken chamber can ever work again. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching details of the latest fiscal cliff counteroffer from the white house have emerged, and republicans are still whining and complaining. the white house confirmed their new offer has $1.4 billion in revenue from higher taxes on the wealthy. the previous offer was $1.6 billion. the white house is offering $340 billion in cuts to medicare and $250 billion in cuts to other programs. president obama spoke to abc's barbara walters about taxes on the rich going up whether republicans like it or not. >> prediction. are you going to be able to raise taxes? yes or no. >> oh, taxes are going to go up one way or the other. >> they are? >> and i think the key is to make sure that taxes go up on the high-end individuals like you and me, barbara, we can afford it. it is entirely possible for us to come up with a deal, but time is running short. >> the full interview between president obama and barbara
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walters will air friday at 10:00 p.m. on abc. we do know the president said this. i'd like to see a big package, but the most important thing we can do is to make sure that middle class taxes do not go up on january 1st. raises the medicare eligibility age will not be a big part of this package. the president said," when you look at the evidence, it's not clear that it actually saves a lot of money." as these negotiations drag on, public opinion remains firmly on the side of the president. the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows 68% of americans believe president obama has a mandate to keep the tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year. 65% said the president's mandate is to raise taxes on the wealthy and reduce spending at the same time. 59% say the mandate is to raise taxes on the top 2%. now, president obama's approval rating also on a roll. he is now at a three-year high. you know what this is?
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leverage. the president is also getting support from powerful business leaders that he met with last week. top ceos sent a letter to congressional leaders, urging them to strike a deal and avoid going over the fiscal cliff. there were strong warnings about jumping off the cliff today. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke said failure to strike a deal would cause huge damage to the economy. >> if the economy actually went off the fiscal cliff, our assessment, the cbo's assessment, outside forecasters all think that would have very adverse effects on the economy and on the unemployment rate. we cannot offset the full impact of the fiscal cliff. it's just too big. >> there was another figurehead on capitol hill today, urging a solution to the standoff. >> to parents everywhere, call your representatives today, tomorrow, and every day until they pass the tax cut that is so important to you all. >> i guess we're pulling out all stops. senate republican leader mitch mcconnell was not really in the
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holiday mood today. he claims the president is not giving republicans anything to work with. >> the president and his allies have taken so many things off the table, the only thing left is the varnish. >> well, that's good news. house speaker john boehner says the white house offer is dead in the water. >> the president is calling for $1.4 trillion worth of revenue. that cannot pass the house or the senate. >> here is a news alert for speaker boehner. it's his job to get a deal to pass the house. today i spoke with congressman chris van hollen on my radio show. the ranking member of the budget committee for the democrats told me why speaker boehner may be dragging these talks out so long. >> we know that he has so many republicans who are not willing to accept a reasonable deal that i'm worried that he's got in the back of his head, you know, i better not bring that to the floor of the house because these same guys are going to be voting on whether or not i'm speaker. >> boehner is finding out how tough it is to be speaker of the house. a former house speaker gave him
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some advice today about striking a deal. >> that's what we all take the job to do, to risk it for something, not to just sit in the office. it's tough. but you have to do it. so is the point that you don't want to put your members on the spot? figure it out. we did. figure it out. >> boehner's problem is he's got fewer people around him to help him figure it out. the house speaker's support group getting pretty small as of late. in fact, every day it gets smaller. there are republican caucus members like tom cole who want to strike a deal there are corporate leaders calling for an agreement. the american public wants a deal tonight. the only people left on john boehner's side are these guys, the tea party coalition in the congress. guys like senator rand paul. how about congressman paul broun? there is a good ally for you. and there is good ol' louis gohmert. you can always count on him. these are the people keeping john boehner from reaching a deal on taxes. >> we are going to do the moral thing here, and that's not keep
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spending future generations' money. >> i want to get rid of the department of education, the department of commerce, the department of labor. and let's get rid of the epa while we're doing it. >> why would we ever even consider as republicans think about raising taxes? i tell them come to me after you've gotten rid of all the spending. come to me when you've gotten rid of the $3 million you spent last year to watch monkeys on methamphetamine. >> we keep hearing republicans talk about taking hostages and negotiations, that they are holding the middle class tax cuts and the debt ceiling as leverage. you know, maybe it's time for the democrats to do the same doggone thing. take a hostage here and there, like higher rates. maybe the democrats ought to tell john boehner, you know what? 39.6% looks pretty good right now, because after the first of the year we're going for 42%. make boehner come to the table, and make him come squealing to the table saying you can't go to 42%. oh, yes we can, because there is enough progressives in the house that would band together and say you know what?
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we need to go beyond, because we've got some real fiscal problems in this country. and we can go to the wealthiest americans and get a hell of a lot more than the old rates under bill clinton. why not go to 42%? why not go to 45% for people who make over $10 million a year? i mean, do we really want to solve this? do we really want sacrifice? or do we just want to take our toe and put it in the lake and see if it's still cold out? come on, folks. these lawmakers in washington need some pressure put on them. we need to go higher than 39.6%. we need to go to at least 42% for the wealthiest americans making over a million dollars a year and tell bain their is the way it's going to be, or you're going to lose the deal that is on the table right now. let's take a hostage. let's take the rates. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think tonight. tonight's question, is john boehner ignoring the american people to save his job as speaker? text a for yes. text b for now to 622639. you can always go to our blog at
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ed.msnbc.com. we'll bring you the results later on in the show. i'm joined tonight by california congressman john garamendi who sits on the house ways and means committee. good to have you with us. >> good to be with you, as always. >> you brought up an interesting point by your colleague about how the timing of this is getting more and more interesting. john boehner delaying a deal in order to protect his job? what do you think? >> well, we certainly know we has a very raucous caucus. he has a very divided caucus, one that is causing him great angst and a lot of trouble pulling it together. what he needs to do is reach across the aisle, come to the democrats. we put this thing together in half a day. but he hasn't been willing to do that because he could very well lose his job if he were to seek a compromise. >> do you think there is enough progressives, liberals in the house that could circulate a petition and say maybe we better go to a higher rate if boehner wants to start taking hostages? maybe we should go to 42 or 43%. maybe he better take this deal
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while it's on the table. what about that? >> well, there are many different kinds of leverage, but the big leverage is already out there. that is everyone's taxes are going to go up on january 1st unless the republicans come to the table and accept the fact that middle class tax bill is already on the -- in the house. we could take it up tomorrow. >> but that has not moved john boehner as of yet. what is it going to take to move him? >> well, about 20 more days, because then it happens. in 20 days, we're going to see those taxes go up on middle class americans. and that is not in his interests. it certainly is not in the interests of the economy. and it's all going to be laid right on his doorstep, and on the doorstep of his entire caucus. and so it's up to him. he's got to make the deal just as minority leader pelosi said. it's a tough job, but you've got to do it because you're the leader in the house. you set the pace. he's got to come. if he came to the democrats tomorrow, we could put this thing out. would he lose his job? i don't know.
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but that's not about his job. it's about the american public and the middle class and the economy. >> well, boehner is telling members that they shouldn't be making any plans for the holidays, and they're dragging their feet through the holidays, i guess. you wrote that these negotiations are this way, the way you see it. you wrote it on "huffington post." i'm willing to take a tough vote. i'm willing to make sacrifices. i'll willing to feel the heat. but i'm not willing to solve it by throwing seniors over the fiscal cliff. i draw the line at drawing benefits in medicare and social security. what line are you willing to cross to get a deal with the republicans? >> well, i just said what line i'm not willing to cross. the lines that can be done on medicare, there are very significant savings available in medicare. the president has proposed what, $350 billion of savings ten years without touching the benefits. the notion of increasing the eligible age to 66, 67 is really
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stupid there is no other way to describe it. it is bad public policy. it is terrible for seniors, and it doesn't save much money. what it does is it shifts the costs to those people who can't get to medicare because they're not yet old enough, and it will also shift the cost back to employers and to the new exchanges which are going to be created in just a year and a half. so it is a really non-starter to throw the seniors over the cliff. but we could do things. how about negotiating drug prices? prevented by law, the federal government's prevented by the current law. put in during the bush administration. can't negotiate drug prices. >> you really think the republicans would agree to that? that would be the same thing as the veterans administration. they're allowed to negotiate. >> absolutely. >> if you do that, that of course is going to be a hit the big pharma, and republicans are going to protect big business. >> well, i'm sorry. this is about the american economy. this is about balancing our budget. they're are going to be a lot of hits taken in this situation. we know there are going to be cuts in other areas. we know there is also a lot of fraud. just reported in the last week that about $28 billion of fraud
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a year and a half ago in the medicare system. we need to continue to go after that. we need to also make sure that the payments to doctors and providers are both adequate and not unnecessarily high. and we've done a lot of prevention. oui already seen the inflation rate in medicare reduced significantly since the affordable health care act. >> so you're heading in the right direction. they should take this deal. >> absolutely. >> you're saying another 20 days, home for holidays night not happen. john garamendi with us on is the "ed show." remember to answer tonight's question on the bottom of the screen. we always want to know what you think. coming up, the federal reserve announces a major move to bolster the united states economy. we'll tell you what the plan means for you if you're in the middle class, next. stay with us. of getting it don. you know how to dance... with a deadline. and you...rent from national.
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coming up, we'll take a look at what is the heart of michigan's right-to-work law. it's not only about politics, it's about money. follow the money. and it really is the latest
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attempt to tip the scales for the gop. coming up for 2016, we'll have all the details. later, attorney general eric holder makes a push for election reform. hear, hear. we'll have his comments and talk about it. and senator kent conrad joins me to discuss the fiscal cliff negotiations and look back on his time in the senate as the senate massachusetts budget chairman. don't forget you can listen to my radio show on sirius xm radio channel 1271:00 p.m. monday through friday to 3:00 p.m. you can share your thoughts with us. we're coming right back. r pharmt recommended it. and that makes me feel pretty good about it. and then i heard about a study looking at multivitamins and the long term health benefits. and what do you know? they used centrum silver in the study. makes me feel even better, that's what i take. sorry, we take. [ male announcer ] centrum.
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welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for watching tonight. over the past two years, federal reserve chairman ben bernanke has repeatedly asked congress to do something to help the economy. well, democrats and president obama have put a number of major bills, job bills on the table, but boehner and mcconnell and that crowd, they've just done nothing. it's a do-nothing congress, and they have fought it every step of the way. so now with the fiscal cliff looming, the federal reserve is taking matters into their own hands. bernanke announced today that the fed will take unprecedented steps to boost the economy. the fed is currently spending $40 billion a month on mortgage bonds, and now they're willing to take to it the next level by purchasing $45 billion worth of treasury bonds per month. the fed also grid to keep short-term interest rates near zero. they plan to keep interest rates low until the unemployment rate falls to 6.5%, or the inflation rate reaches 2.5%. this is the first time in the
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fed's history that they have ever made goals for the nation's economic recovery. for more let's turn to william cohen. he is a bloomberg columnist and author of "money and power: how goldman sachs came to rule the world." mr. cohen, good to have you with us tonight. >> great to be here. >> what do you make of this move? bernanke has been out there that congress has to move on something. they didn't. but now in the 11th hour, he makes this move. how big is it? >> it's very big. it's creative. it's unprecedented. and i think it's by and large going to help the middle class, assuming you're somebody in the middle class who wants to refinance your mortgage or get a mortgage to buy a home in the first place, because what he is doing is lowering, trying to lower long-term interest rates. as he said, short-term interest rates he is going to keep at a quarter of a percentage point. he can't do much more with that. but long-term interest rates he can try to drive down by buying mortgage-backed securities, by buying treasury securities. in a sense, creating artificial
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demand in the market, which lowers the interest rates, increases the price of bonds. bonds trade inversely to their interest rates. so that will drive down interest rates, encouraging people to borrow more money. >> so what is this going to do to the housing market? we've seen a slow recovery come back? should this really be a shot in the arm? >> it should help encourage that recovery along. what it does, it keeps mortgage rates lower than they ordinarily would be. >> and for the long-term? >> and for a longer period of time. >> okay. they're setting goals for the unemployment rate and inflation rate. what does that tell us? >> well, it tells us that he probably wants to keep this program in place for another year or two years. i think goldman sachs estimates that this will be in place until the first quarter of 2016 because that's how long it will take for the unemployment rate to reach 6.5%. now that's good news, again, if you're borrowing money. but if you're a saver, ed, that is not good news, because interest rates are going to come down, and you're not going get anything on your savings.
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>> so what do you think prompted this? possibly more filibusters? more stagnant movement on job creation by either side of the aisle? or was it just these fiscal cliff negotiations that are going on right now? the inability to make a deal? >> it's the do-nothing congress. their inability to make this deal. the best thing for the economy would be to make a deal and get off the fiscal edge, right. but if they're not going to be able to do that, then bernanke is smart. and again, it's unprecedented for him to do that. it's smart for him to go in and continue to try to stimulate the economy. >> you know, it's one thing for him to say that he is very concerned about the fiscal cliff and what it would do to the economy. but then to back it up with this move. >> yeah. you got to give the guy a lot of credit. it might be his bid for a third term as fed chairman, frankly, because it is creative. it's unprecedented, and by the way, the europeans are now following his lead. >> what is the danger here? >> well, the danger is that we're creating a bit of a bubble with these low interest rates, just like we did, unfortunately,
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in 2003 and 2004 when greenspan kept interest rates low. and that created the housing bubble, because investors were looking for higher yield. and when investors start looking for higher yielding bonds, then they take risks that they wouldn't ordinarily take. and that's the risk here that we're creating a bubble in interest rates. and of course, savers are not happy right now. >> what about the credit markets? is it going to be hard to get money in this economy because you've got to back it up with securities and what not, or is that going to change, that dynamic going to change at all? >> this program has been in place for three or four years now, and credit has not been that easy to get. if you're a big corporation, they'll throw buckets of money at you. >> sure. >> but if you're trying to refinance your mortgage or get a mortgage in the first place, they've made it that much harder. and this isn't necessarily going to make it that easier. it's just if you get a mortgage, the rates will be lower. so people should be encouraged to try to refinance, should try to get that mortgage in the first place. but that doesn't mean they're going to get it.
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>> they are worried about the economy, though, because they're not only talking about it, but making this move. >> that's right. >> william cohan, thank you so much for being with us tonight. thank you so much for being with us on "the ed show." coming up, republicans can't win on the power of their own ideas, so they need i guess you could say to cheat to win the next election. and they're setting the stage right now. find out how michigan's new law could change the landscape in the next presidential election. we'll talk to former ohio governor ted strickland and lansing mayor virg bernero, and i'll show you exactly where the money is going. and we can save you 10% on ground shipping over the ups store.
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these so-called right-to-work laws, they don't have to do with economics. they have everything to do with politics. what they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. >> president obama telling it like it is. welcome back to "the ed show." michigan's right-to-work law, my friend, is not about the economy. no matter what they tell you, it's not about the economy. it's about money in the political machine in this country. here is what governor rick snyder of michigan wants you to believe it is. >> right to work is about the relationship between the union and workers. and this is about being pro-workers, giving workers the choice. if anything, this should encourage unions to be more responsive to workers. it's about economic development. we will get more and better jobs coming to michigan because we're going to be more competitive. >> okay. so let me get this straight. the republicans in michigan are
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concerned about this relationship between the union and its workers. they're really -- hey, this is kind of like the health care debate. don't let the government get between you and your doctor. the government's getting between the union and its workers. why? this is not about economic development. unions account for only about 20% of the workforce in michigan. michigan's new right-to-work law isn't going to affect economic development in a positive way whatsoever. and there is a road map to prove that. look at states around the country that are right to work. union membership has declined in this country, and that's what they want. so has middle class incomes. you see that? that graph right there starts back in 1967. and it goes all the way to 2011. and as union membership has gone down, so has middle class income. so if anything, michigan's new right-to-work law will hurt economic development. governor snyder also says the law was all about the workers. really?
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he is concerned about the workers. that too is a lie. all the unions are saying is this, if you are going to be a union member, you are going to be expected to pay dues. you know, you're going to be not required to be a part of the union. that's another thing that is out there. they're saying well, gosh, you have to join the union. no, you don't. that would be against the law. it would be like if you go play nine holes of golf and you have the choice of paying the fee or just playing for free, what are you going to do? hey charlie, let's play the front 9 for free. you're going to take the free deal, right? what this legislation really does is give workers the chance to get all the benefits of collective bargaining without paying dues like everybody else who has decided to pay dues. and if you want to know what was really going on in washington -- in the state of michigan, which of course is being pushed by some in washington, all you have to do is follow the money. all right. let's go to the billionaires that we love to talk about, the
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koch brothers. they want to take down the democratic infrastructure in this country by basically manipulating the political environment in america. they don't give a damn about workers. they want union dues to go away so the infrastructure just dries up. if labor is taken way from the democrats, barack obama might not be in the white house. you can just ask karl rove. >> they lost 612,000 union members in 2010 alone. now think about it. every one of the 612,000 people had union dues going into the political coffers of their union to spend on politics. so yeah, you keep having couple 100,000 people each year, if a half million people leave the labor movement every year, and pretty soon you start having a crimp in the political budgets of these unions, it has a direct effect on the presidential. >> let's crimp the political budgets throughout, and the way we can do that is pass a right-to-work law that will tell union members that they real hi
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don't have to pay dues. that way they're not going to pay them, and that way it's going to reduce their resources even more. it's going to shake the foundations of the democrats even more. the koch brothers aring why is is making all the phone calls? who is doing all the social networks stuff. where are they getting money for that? they're getting it from the unions. without labor, democrats lose a solid base in wisconsin, michigan, ohio and pennsylvania and illinois. let's see, think about that. all those states together, holy smokes, that's the rust belt of america. it's the breadbasket of union membership in this country. so look at a these right-to-work states. they almost always go republican. so what the gop is missing is what? the rust belt. that's right. if they can crack the democratic hold on the rust belt, they can cobble together electoral victories. keep in mind none of those michigan republicans ran on a right to work platform because if they had had, they would never have been elected to the house or senate in that state. they were mum's the word. they were pretty quiet about that.
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but, you know, once they got in, here comes the big money interests like the koch brothers. they are now pulling all the levers of government in the shadows in every state they possibly can. right wing groups reportedly threatened michigan senate majority leader randy richardsville, threatened his leadership post and promised him a primary challenge in 2014 if he refused to move on this right-to-work legislation. he did. it passed, it's signed, now it's law. they got what they wanted. americans for prosperity, founded by the koch brothers as one of the big monied interests behind right to work. the american legislative exchange council alec is funded by the koch brothers. alec writes legislation state by state. guess what? michigan's right to work rules mirror alec language practically word for word. these guys didn't even have to write the bill. it was handed to them. this is not conservatives' only line of attack. oh, there is more there are
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attempts to change the electoral college in ohio, pennsylvania, and virginia. a virginia state senator has proposed a scheme to allocate electoral college votes based on districts rather than the popular vote. it's a way of marginalizing urban voters in the next election. game plan page 2. you see, listen very carefully to romney's running mate paul ryan right after the election. >> i think the surprise was some of the turnout. some of the turnout, especially in the urban areas, which definitely gave president obama the big margin to win this race. there is always an electoral college strategy in winning these things. and you know what states you need to win to get to 270 electoral votes. and when we watched -- look at the map here of virginia and ohio coming in, those ones coming in as tight as that were, and then looking like we were going to lose them, that is when it became pretty clear to us that we weren't going to win. >> oh, yes, so what we've got to do now is change that we got to
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make sure the next time it comes in, whoever runs again, and it might be me, paul ryan says, we've got to make sure that the electoral college is all right for the republicans. so we've got three strategy points here. marginalize the urban vote by screwing around with the electoral college, dismantle democratic infrastructure by going after the unions through right the work laws state by state, keep voters from casting their vote in the first place through voter suppression laws, and we're four years away from the next election. so they've got meant of time to just chip away at this, 2013, 2014, 2015 and get a head start on the democrats. michigan's right-to-work law is a victory for republicans, no question about it. but this fight, you know, i keep hearing that this fight isn't over. really? i'll talk with lansing mayor virg bernero about what is next for workers in michigan and former ohio governor ted strickland on what it means for unions in other states there is a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show."
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stay with us. >> who are we as a nation? shouldn't we be coming up with ways in which we encourage more people to get to the polls to express their views? >> attorney general holder makes a major announcement on protecting votes rights. details ahead. and retiring senator kent conrad, chairman of the budget committee is here with his thoughts on how the broken chamber can get its act together. ing to dream about that steak. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today.
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[ applause ] i love you. i love you. [ male announcer ] get together at the rekindle share event. buy one holiday drink, get one free this thursday through sunday. good to have you back with us. thanks for staying with "the ed show" tonight. make no mistake about it. republicans a big victory yesterday. they do stay on point, despite thousands of protesters and national news coverage. governor snyder turned michigan into the so-called right the work state. as the president said monday, it's a right to make less money law. the republican governor won't admit that the law is designed to keep unions from campaigning for democrats. he won't admit that the law will
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make it easier for him to get reelected. snyder just keeps saying that the bill was all about giving michigan workers more freedom. yes, more freedom! we believe governor snyder, yeah. he is gutting the unions to give more freedom to less than 20% of the workforce in the state? actually, only 17.5% of the workers in the state of michigan are union members. that's 671,000 people. governor snyder needs to explain why a small percentage of his state needed such a massive legal overhaul before the end of the year in a lame duck session of their legislature. let's turn to virg bernero, mayor of lansing, michigan, where all the action was yesterday and in recent days, and former ohio governor ted strickland with us tonight. gentlemen, great to have you with us. it's either unions took a shot in the boiler or a sleeping giant has just been awakened. only time will tell as this all unfolds. governor, you first. is ohio getting pressure to pass
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the so-called right-to-work legislation? what is going on there? >> well, there are efforts under way in ohio right now to gather signatures for an initiative, and i think we're going to face this challenge in ohio, and i think other states. listen, ed, a handful of billionaire billionaire oligarchs. he intends to fund anti-union initiatives. that's what we're facing. it's an attack on the middle class. but we're going to be ready for it in ohio. and i believe, as you said, i believe a sleeping giant has been awakened, and i think the people of michigan will bring back michigan's union ability. but temporarily a setback. but our eyes are open. we know the threat, and we're going to be ready for it. >> all right. governor snyder was on a morning show this morning claiming the new law is not anti-union. here it is.
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>> i don't believe this is actually anti-union. if you look at it, i believe this is pro-worker, because the way i view it is as workers now have freedom to choose. >> hang on a sec. are you serious? are you serious this is not anti-union? >> i don't view it as pro or anti-union. unions just need to be responsive to people to step up and deliver value. and workers have that choice. and workers should have that choice. they shouldn't be compelled to join something they don't see value in. >> virg bernero, isn't it interesting how government in michigan is so concerned about the relationship between union and its workers? >> yeah, it's interesting this freedom, freedom and this choice. you know, if the governor and others who are for this believe really in this kind of freedom and choice in a democracy, then why don't they make taxes voluntary? because the reality is that that's what union dues are. the majority has voted for a union, and the majority rules in a democracy. just like the majority voted for rick snyder. i might not agree with his policies as governor, but i don't have a choice to hold back on my taxes.
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i might not agree with the direction the president is taking, but i got to pay my federal taxes or the irs will come after me. so the idea that you get all the benefits of the union membership and you don't have to pay your dues, and the union has to earn the support is a bunch of nonsense. the majority in those shops have spoken. 51% have wanted a union, and if you don't like it, you can take your business elsewhere. we're only 17% union. i agree with the governor, though. it's both a shot in the gut and a call to action. >> right. >> and i believe, you know what? sometimes it takes both. sometimes it takes a slap in the face, a shot in the gut, a kick in the shins to get people motivated. we are motivated and fired up. >> the big picture here, governor, is they're after the rust belt. >> they are. >> if they can break the backs of the unions and their infrastructure of funding and pass laws to make it so people don't have to pay dues, this, of course, is going to break the backs of the democrats in those state. or is that a bridge too far? >> well, i don't think it's a bridge too far. ed, this michigan governor is intellectually dishonest. he is not speaking the truth.
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this is an attack upon organized labor. it's an attack upon the middle class. and he is doing this at the behest of the tea party right wing elements within his party. he absolutely was dishonest with the people of michigan. he said this was not a part of his political priority. >> but they're going to the money in the democrats. they're going right to the heart and soul of what supports the social networking. >> absolutely. >> and they're knocking on the doors and making the phone calls in the get out the vote effort that really makes a difference in the elections. mayor, what about this. the front page of the detroit free press says that this fight isn't over. what does that mean? how are you going to fight this new law? >> well, there is any number of ways. of course, lawyers are going over this very carefully. now advocates are looking at it carefully to see if -- we think we can do an initiated law that will undo this law. at the same time, it's definitely motivation for 14. the governor is exactly right. it is an attack.
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we know that organized labor has been at the forefront of social and economic change. so it is an attack on organized labor. it's an attack on the democratic party. many democratic officials get support from the labor unions. and more than money is what they get is organization. the unions are organized. they're good at organizing. and again, that's what we're going to do. we are motivated by this, and we're not going to take it laying down. so the law may be challenged. and there is every legal option is being looked at. but it's definitely a motivation to win the governor's seat and to take over the legislature in 2014. we're starting that work today. >> well, governor, you got the unions to win their battle on measure 2 in ohio. it looks like this is going to have to be a repeat performance. >> that's right. >> and i don't think that what we're going to see sheer these legislative sessions controlled by the righties start making up laws that it's going to be harder to recall, that it's going to be harder to maneuver around these laws. and the only way you're going to be able to do this is to vote these people out. but i think it's going to be very interesting in 2014 to see
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president obama engage his army of support in the rust belt to turn some of these state legislative houses all around. great to have both of you with us tonight. mayor virg bernero and governor ted strickland with us here on "the ed show." attorney general eric holder slaps our broken election system and urges officials to consider national voting standards. we've got big news, next. stay with us. losec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
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of course, we love hearing from our viewers on our twitter and facebook page. earlier we asked you to sum up the legacy of joe lieberman who is retiring and delivered his farewell address on the senate floor today. not a favorite of lefties at all. sheryl says she'll remember lieberman as the man who killed the public option because he feared it would lead to single payer. adios. karen said on her facebook page, lieberman was the guy who left the democratic party and thought sarah palin would be a good vice president. and carol newman describes
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lieberman as a man who turned from caring about people to only caring about war. keep sharing your thoughts with us on our facebook page and twitter using the #edshow. still to come, the chairman of the senate budget committee on his 26 years in the senate and much more. we're coming right back. stay with us. of washington about the future of medicare and social security. anncr: but you deserve straight talk about the options on the... table and what they mean for you and your family. ancr: aarp is cutting through all the political spin.
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i want to thank every american who participated in this election. whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very, very long time,. by the way, we have to fix that. >> president obama addressing just one of the many issues voters faced on election day. now attorney general eric holder is adding his voice to the mix. speaking at the john f. kennedy library, holder says it's time to consider national voting standards. the attorney general pointed to a mcarcher foundation study that found nearly 90% of voters
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support the creation of national standards. holder also said election officials should strive to administer elections more efficiently and fairly. he went on to say this means taking steps to address long lines at polling places and ensure that every polling place has an adequate number of voting machines. we must acknowledge that giving our fellow citizens access to the voting booth for longer hours and over additional days will enable more of them to cast their ballots without unduly interfering with work or family obligations that so many have. well put. in the meantime, the gop isn't giving up their fight over voter suppression. some of the toughest laws in the country have come in swing states with republican governors. holder stopped short of supporting specific legislation to create an unverified system, but he did call on leaders to start a dialogue and work toward improving our elections. so where does this go? as the head of the justice department, i believe holder should be one of those leaders. and as "the new york times"
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points out, if mr. holder is not going to organize and lead that conversation, then who is? great question. let's get it on. tonight in our survey, i asked you is john boehner ignoring the american people to save his job as speaker? 98% of you say yes. 2% of you say no. he knows the numbers in the house and the senate and in this country better than anybody else. next is senator kent conrad. he will join us on the fiscal cliff talks and reflect on his 26 years in washington. what is wrong with the senate? hey sis,
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there are problems here. there are problems in this chamber. as proud as i am of this institution, and i will forever be, i have detected over the 26 years i've been here a change. we spend now too much of our time seeking partisan advantage. and it happens on both sides. and it's all understandable. i understand it. i'm not being critical of individuals. we spend too little time trying to solve problems. >> welcome back to "the ed show." that was north dakota senator kent conrad on the floor of the senate earlier today, reflecting on his 26 years in washington. conrad will leave the senate in january as chairman of the senate budget committee. conrad understands the numbers
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better than anyone else. and the senator predicted the mess we would find ourselves in with the bush tax cuts a decade ago. take a look. >> the administration told us that we could have a massive tax cut and they would still be able to have maximum paydown of the debt and protect social security. now what we're seeing is they got the massive tax cut, but now instead of maximum paydown of the debt, they're asking for the second biggest increase in the debt in our nation's history. and in protecting social security instead of protecting it. under the president's plan over the next decade, they will be taking almost $2 trillion out of social security to pay for other things, to pay for his tax cuts, to pay for other spending. >> joining me now is senator kent conrad of north dakota. senator, good to have you with us. you certainly had your crystal ball out over a decade ago on where the economy was headed. you nailed it. there is no doubt. what about these fiscal cliff negotiations?
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are we close to a deal? >> i think we probably are. i'm not in the room, so i can't say with specificity, but i do believe they're edging closer from what i've heard, and hopefully they can announce something next week. >> senator, how can a deal be possible if the republicans are so bent on protecting the wealthiest americans? it doesn't seem like any of them in full force want to move in that direction, or are you hearing differently? >> well, first of all, they're in a very bad negotiating position, because as you know, the law is very clear. and the law ends all of the bush tax cuts at the end of this year. democrats have passed in the senate with some republican help an extension of all the middle class tax cuts. and so republicans are really in an awkward position. they're holding 98% of the american people hostage to save the 2% who are at the top, those earning more than $250,000. the problem is the law is going
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to make those continuing tax cuts for the wealthiest among us end at the end of this month. so they're running out of room for this negotiation. >> senator, you've seen the president's proposal, as we all have. do the numbers add up? as you called it ten years ago, do these numbers add up today and head us in the right direction? >> yes, they do. and i think the president in many ways has been unfairly treated, sometimes in the media, because people really haven't delved into what he is saying. he's got an overall package here, as i said on the senate floor earlier today, we could take the best of the republican ideas, the best of the president's ideas, we could have an overall package of $4 trillion, which is what we need. and this country could be on its way. and the cuts would be relatively modest. the revenue increase relatively modest. you know, sometimes we forget to put these things in context. the revenue increase the
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president is calling for is only 4% of the revenue that we forecast over the next ten years. >> so you say his numbers are workable? >> absolutely. workable and doable. >> all right. now you've been in washington for 26 years. is the art of a deal lost? >> you know, sometimes i wonder, ed. my goodness. when we see the bombs across the barricades in this town, you really wonder if people forgot to listen to each other and to negotiate to conclusion, you know. at the end of the day here, we need to -- we need to have an agreement that is principled and puts the country on a sounder course. >> well, i asked that art of a deal, it lost, because mitch mcconnell's stated deal was to make barack obama a one-term president. the gop has rallied around this notion of obstruction. how do you break that kind of logjam? and can it be done? >> you know, i think it can be done. look, at the end of the day

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